Thieves target Briscoes lady's church in Christchurch

Thieves have cleaned out a small Christchurch church taking its brass alter pieces and other precious religious items that are likely to be melted down.

Tammy Wells. Photo: NewstalkZB
Tammy Wells. Photo: NewstalkZB
It is the second time St Mark's Church on Prestons Rd in Marshland has been hit this year.

People are being asked to contact police if they see any of the stolen items for sale.

Tammy Watson Wells - known by most Kiwis for her Briscoes adverts - has been playing the organ at the Anglican church since she was 13.

Wells told RNZ's Checkpoint she was sure it was the same people who targeted the church earlier this year over Easter.

"I think they just came back to get the last little pieces that they hadn't got."

Photo: Supplied
Photo: Supplied
She said they took "anything that was of value, and believe me, there's not much ... anything that was brass".

"They must have known there were a few things that they needed to come back for.

"They came in and found the safe keys and, unfortunately, all the money, which is very little because we always take it away.

"But there was the chalice which was sterling silver, they took away the little trowel and it's about 98-years-old and it was when the new church was rebuilt.

"They've taken everything, but they didn't take our spirit."

Photo: Supplied
Photo: Supplied
Other items that were stolen included candlesticks, a candelabra, two brass vases, the brass lectern, a brass cross, a brass plate, and the christening brass jug and bowl.

"A whole lot of groceries were stolen as well.

"We were collecting for the Saint Ambrose Food Bank and they've taken all the lovely Christmas things that we'd collected as a small congregation."

However, she said the community and local supermarket jumped in to donate and help out.

"It's just lovely that good things come out of it ... just blown away by people's kindness and their support."